It was 12 years ago.
"I just don't feel myself," I said to my husband, Bill. It was a Sunday evening. I had been writing in my journal. Writing about how I didn't want to go to work on Monday. Writing about how I was feeling like there wasn't anything exciting in my life. Writing about my lack of inspiration. How I felt just plain stuck!
"I don't know," I said. I closed my journal. "I feel like I should be, I don't know, happier." And I should have been. On the outside I had a happy life, a happy marriage. I worked from home. My career was flourishing. I should have been happy! I wasn't.
“I think you’re depressed,” Bill said. His eyes were steady and kind. Depressed. I didn't like that word. I was an upbeat person. Resilient. Not depressed. The word rattled around in my head. He had struck a nerve.
"Depressed?" The word hung in the air between us.
"Yes," He said. "You need to do something for yourself."
"What do you mean?," I looked at him, "I do. I workout. Go to the gym."
“Something that doesn't involve another yoga class," he said.
That week I signed up for Method Writing© with Jack Grapes.
“Method writing is an organic approach to the creative process, a way of finding your deep, authentic voice. The method does not deal with traditional approaches to writing that emphasize structure and form—the three-act structure of the screenplay, formal approaches to the novel, etc. Like method acting, which focuses on truth and organic process, Method Writing deals with the inner voice and how it can be used to create unique works of art, true to your own voice and style, true to your own vision and point of view, true to your own life experience—whether you're writing poems, stories, novels, plays, screenplays, non-fiction, memoir, shopping lists, ransom notes, recipes, etc.”
I had no idea what it meant to find my authentic voice.
I had been writing my whole life. In high school I wrote short stories. My girlfriends and I wrote plays and movies. We even pitched a Charlie's Angels script to Leonard Goldberg at Fox, (he passed on it. And we just knew it was because there were too many explosions).
It was after a poetry class my freshman year in college that I stopped creative writing.. The first day of class I shared one of my poems. The other students were older, had lived lives that weren't as sheltered, that were in fact, the polar opposite of my life. My life wasn't hard. I liked my life up until that point. I mean sure, fallouts with girlfriends, no real boyfriends to speak of, but that was kid stuff compared to the lives these people had lived. And, given that I wrote about my life, they felt it was, in a word, "SH*T" and they proceeded to tell me, in rather confrontational tones, how it was.
"That's horrible!" "You are no poet!" "You can't write!" "You have nothing to say, you haven't even lived!" They hurled their words at me and creativity and desire to write poems or prose and to even think of sharing my work drained from my body and pooled on the on the floor by my feet.
I dropped out of that class the same afternoon and I never shared my work with anyone again. Not until Jack Grapes.
I have been studying with Jack since 2008. He is my teacher. My mentor. My friend. He is all heart and he taught me how to find my authentic voice, to bypass my talent and mine for my genius.
Find Your Voice ~ Change Your Life ~ Impact The World™
Finding my voice changed more than just my writing. With it came a sense of self. Courage. A desire to listen to myself. I used to find it hard to say no to others and yes to myself.
Bill used to call me 'chicken'. A sweet nickname that, well, was quite accurate. I was afraid of everything. Sure sometimes I did it anyway, but the fear, I could feel it rush my body.
Take sailing. Bill had been racing for years. He would ask me to come with him. "I don't want to get yelled at," I'd say.
Now, I'm at the helm of our 33 foot sailboat on Tuesday's and Thursday's and many weekends during the race season.
I jump at opportunities to speak at conferences or be interviewed or be in a promotional video. (Just last year I did all of those things!) I reached out to Insight Timer, asked if I could post meditations on their site and now, my meditations are live on their site as well as a brand new course I created called, How To Live Outside Your Comfort Zone.
I used to worry about my body and my weight and what people thought about me, what they said behind my back. I held onto my excess weight and heaviness and carried it with me. Now it's gone. I have released it along with so much more!
I am grateful to Jack Grapes and The Method and to Bill and that conversation some 11 plus years ago. And I am happy to say that I am grateful I didn't sign up for 'yet another yoga class'!
I can teach you the Method and more.
And with Jack's blessing I am now teaching what I have learned with him. I am seeing writers, who have been working with me for the last year tap into their creativity and find their authentic voice. It is magical.
When you find your voice it is transformative. It unlocks the door to your potential. it is the spark in your belly that keeps you moving forward in the face of fears, challenges and obstacles. It is the power to listen inside and know that each next right action is correct.
Find your voice ~ Change your life ~ Impact the world.